This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.


  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

To begin, let me start off by saying that this is the first diary I've written for the DK community, so please bear with me and absolutely provide any constructive criticism you see fit so - I'm always happy to improve my writing style.

Keyvn Orr, Detroits appointed emergency manager, froze the cities pension plans quietly effective 12/31, and replaced it with a 401k style plan.

Days later, Orr issued a stay of the freeze, while he awaits mediation to come to an agreement on the final disposition of workers current and future retirement benefits.

My thoughts after the fold.


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

The quiet and arbitrary freeze placed by Orr makes me wonder even moreso if robbing employees of their pension benefits wasn't the plan all along.  I keep saying "quiet" because until today, I've read nothing about the freeze anywhere.  Granted, I'm in New York and not Detroit, but I've been following the situation as closely as I can.

The first question that comes to mind for me is - how does an unelected emergency manager have the power to arbitrarily freeze pension plans in the first place?  While I realize under bankruptcy protection, he certainly has the power to determine what debts are paid and what debts are not paid - with the agreement of the bankruptcy judge - but shouldn't flat out ending a pension plan be the decision of the voting populace, or at least, require the bankruptcy judges say-so?

Given the controversy over the amount of debt owed to the pension fund - Orr says one figure, the funds actuaries quote one far lower - the arbitrary nature of the freeze just seems wrong since the question of what the true debt is has not even been settled yet in open court.  Again, not being a Detroit resident, my opinion on the matter might not match the opinion of those that live, work, pay taxes, and vote there, and as such, maybe doesn't amount to a hill of beans.  But this still seems morally contemptible to me regardless, even if Orr has since stayed his original order.

It certainly seems to me that there are many other solutions at Orrs disposal, such as agreeing with pensioners and members to a reduction in benefits, and/or amortizing employer contributions over an extended time frame - which is a solution we've taken here in New York.  It's not a perfect solution, but it does allow cash-strapped municipalities here to have a little breathing room without completely sticking it to employees that have spent their lives working to earn their pensions.

The way this whole thing is working out just makes it seem like wage theft/pension theft was the plan from the get-go even more so than it did previously.  But again, I'm an outsider looking in.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Darth Stateworker on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 04:28 PM PST.

Also republished by Motor City Kossacks.

Your Email has been sent.